BOB WEIGHTON: The world’s oldest man.
BOB WEIGHTON: Born in 1908, he is the same age as Inter Milan football club, and pre-dates Self ridges department store, the beatification of Joan of Arc and the opening of the V&A museum.As young Robert came into this world, Herbert Asquith was still a week from becoming British prime minister, and King Edward VII had two more years to live. Weighton was born in Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire, England, UK on 29 March 1908. He was one of seven children. His father paid an extra £3 a term so he could stay at school until he was 16, which enabled him to take up a marine engineering apprenticeship. After qualifying, Weighton moved to Taiwan to teach at a missionary school, although he first had to spend two years in Japan learning the language.
In 1937, Weighton married his wife, Agnes, a teacher he had known since they studied together in England. After marrying in Hong Kong, they returned to Taiwan, where their first child, David, was born. The family decided to return to the United Kingdom in 1939, but were diverted to Toronto, Canada, due to the onset of the Second World War. While in Canada, the couple had two more children, Peter and Dorothy.
Weighton later moved to Connecticut, United States, and worked in a factory that made aeroplanes for Britain to help them fight the war. He also worked closely with the American Secret Service. He later moved to Washington, and then back to England after the war had ended, eventually taking on a teaching position at City University, London.
BOB WEIGHTON: Later life
Weighton and his wife moved to Alton, Hampshire, England in 1973. Agnes died in 1995, and their son, Peter, died in 2014. As of 2016, Weighton has ten grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. He became a supercentenarian in March 2018.
As of March 2019, shortly before his 111th birthday, he was still able to do his own shopping. In an interview to mark his 111th birthday, he joked that his secret to longevity is “avoiding dying”. In June 2019, he was interviewed by BBC Radio 4, in which he talked about his life.
In March 2020, Weighton was forced to cancel his 112th birthday celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BOB WEIGHTON: Longevity Records
Weighton became the oldest living man in England following the death of John Mansfield on 27 November 2016. At the same time, he also became the joint-oldest living man in the whole of the United Kingdom, along with Alf Smith of Perth, Scotland. Weighton has held this title on his own since Smith’s death on 4 August 2019.
On 22 October 2019, Weighton became the oldest living man in Europe following the death of 114-year-old Gustav Gerneth of Germany.
Following the death of Hilda Clulow on 24 December 2019, Weighton became the oldest living person in the United Kingdom, a title he shares jointly with Joan Hocquard of Poole, England. He is the first man to hold this title since James Harrow (1866–1976).
Following the death of Chitetsu Watanabe on 23 February 2020, Weighton has been a candidate for the World’s Oldest Man title, but this has not been confirmed by Guinness World Records.
Weighton is currently the second-oldest man ever from England, behind Henry Allingham, and the third-oldest man ever from the United Kingdom, behind Allingham and John Evans of Wales.
By: Rosemary Anthony